Trek have launched a new version of their classic 520 steel touring bike, with a larger downtube to help cope with luggage loading, more comfortable geometry for multi-day rides and a lighter alloy fork.
The 520 is actually the longest-running bike model in Trek's history, with the first introduced in 1983. Fast forward 35 years and the latest version still keeps it real with a sturdy custom-butted chromoly steel frame, however it's got plenty of modern adaptations to bring it up to date. The chromoly frame has a downtube with a larger diameter to make it extra stiff when loaded with gear. Geomtry changes include a longer wheelbase, taller headtube for a more upright and comfortable ride and a lower bottom bracket for more stability. The full bike as shown weighs in at 13.3kg
The new alloy fork is 318 grams lighter than the previous steel fork at 920 grams, and features Trek's new ThruSkew system that stops the wheel from dropping out unintentionally. Thruskew also means you needn't remove luggage from the front rack if you have to fix a front tyre flat.
The 520 has 38mm tyres fitted with enough clearance to run massive 29 x 2 tyres if you really plan on going off the beaten track. The Bontrager Affinity wheels are tubeless-ready, although the supplied tyres are clinchers. Proving the triple isn't dead yet, Trek have specced a 48/36/26 Shimano Alivio chainset with a chainguard up front and a 9 speed 11/36 cassette at the rear, and shifting is courtesy of the ever-reliable Shimano Sora.
Trek supply front and rear cargo racks with the bike so it's ready to go adventuring straight away. The heavy-duty racks can take up to 15kg at the front and 22.6kg at the rear, and there are also mounts for full mudguards and up to three bottle cages on the frame.
The new 520 is available to pre-order from some UK retailers, with sizes ranging from 51 up to 63cm. The RRP on Trek's website is £1,100, head over to trekbikes.com for more details.
Arriving at road.cc in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of road.cc in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.